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Abe Cabinet says JCP promoting ‘violent revolution,’ subject to anti-subversive law

by

Staff Writer

The Japanese Communist Party remains a “violent revolutionary” group subject to the scrutiny of a law restricting the activities of subversive organizations, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government has declared.

A statement approved by Abe’s Cabinet on Tuesday highlighted the government’s stance that the leftist JCP continues to uphold its longtime policy of promoting what the National Police Agency calls “violent revolution.”

The statement, issued in response to a question by former Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Takako Suzuki, went on to declare the JCP as being among the organizations targeted by what is known as the anti-subversive activities law.

Yoshiki Yamashita, the high-ranking secretariat chief of the party, responded Tuesday by expressing his strong displeasure over the statement. The party will “lodge a strong protest” with the government and demand that it be retracted, he said.

Originally founded in 1922 as an underground organization, the JCP insists that Japan undergo revolution to transform into a socialist country.

It rocketed into notoriety in the 1950s when it masterminded what the NPA calls a litany of “violent, destructive activities” nationwide — including assaults against police.

Such extremist activities, the NPA says, stemmed largely from a controversial platform the JCP adopted in 1951, in which the party declared it is “wrong” to try to achieve Japan’s democratic revolution through peaceful measures.

In the economic field, the JCP has traditionally championed the goal of wrestling power from capitalists and improving the life of the working class. In recent years, the policy has led to its objections to the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement as well as the planned consumption tax hike.

  • Ron Lane

    The JCP is a target of the anti-subversive activities law?? Really?? I for one feel so much safer.

  • GBR48

    The LDP are just making fools of themselves with statements like this.

    The JCP has 21 seats in the House of Representatives, 11 in the House of Councillors, 136 prefectural assembly members and 2752 municipal assembly members [wikipedia].

    They are part of the democratic process in Japanese politics and played a role in encouraging a unified opposition to the LDP.

    So, no, they aren’t Japan’s answer to the Islamic State.

    Maybe an increase in the quality of senior management at the LDP would stop them repeatedly embarrassing themselves with comments like this and the behaviour that has seen several of their elected members resigning recently.

  • GBR48

    The LDP are just making fools of themselves with statements like this.

    The JCP has 21 seats in the House of Representatives, 11 in the House of Councillors, 136 prefectural assembly members and 2752 municipal assembly members [wikipedia].

    They are part of the democratic process in Japanese politics and played a role in encouraging a unified opposition to the LDP.

    So, no, they aren’t Japan’s answer to the Islamic State.

    Maybe an increase in the quality of senior management at the LDP would stop them repeatedly embarrassing themselves with comments like this and the behaviour that has seen several of their elected members resigning recently.

  • http://raeseddon.tumblr.com/ Rae

    I just feel like the LDP is doing anything and everything to not address any of the real problems it has by trying to invent other problems and it’s not working. They’re doing the functional equivalent of standing in a room that’s on fire and trying to convince everyone else in there with them that the real danger is that whoever decorated the room didn’t do a good job matching the color schemes of the walls and the carpet.

  • http://raeseddon.tumblr.com/ Rae

    I just feel like the LDP is doing anything and everything to not address any of the real problems it has by trying to invent other problems and it’s not working. They’re doing the functional equivalent of standing in a room that’s on fire and trying to convince everyone else in there with them that the real danger is that whoever decorated the room didn’t do a good job matching the color schemes of the walls and the carpet.

  • 151E

    The LDP continues to have trouble with fascist impulse-control but sadly this does not seem to trouble the electorate.

    • A.J. Sutter

      Don’t be so quick to blame the electorate. In both of the past two Lower House elections, 60% of the votes cast were against the ruling coalition. It’s Japan’s perverse elections law that allows a coalition receiving barely 40% of the votes to get a 2/3 supermajority of seats. And that election law is administered by the Diet itself, without anyone independent looking over their shoulder.

      • 151E

        Fair point about the election law and the skewed value of votes. However, there is a constant 40% of voters who seem to fatalistically vote for the LDP no matter what. Even when you sit down and talk with them, and go over issues that they say are important to them, and show them how LDP policies and their own stated values are in conflict, still they repeat like a mantra that no-one else is capable of governing. And perhaps they’re right, seeing the way the bureaucracy seemed to work to undermine DPJ party policies while they were briefly in power.

      • A.J. Sutter

        You’re right that the bureaucracy did try to undermine the DPJ: a scholar named Karol Zakowski published a book talking about that last year. And to be fair, three years isn’t a lot of time for a party new to power to get its sea legs: it even took Margaret Thatcher that amount of time to get hers, and she had the Falklands War to giver her a hand. The DPJ on the other hand was being undermined a tougher adversary than Argentina: the Obama Administration, including then-Secretary Clinton, who relentlessly pressured DJP on the Okinawa base issue during their the first year or so in office.

        Nonetheless, the DPJ’s problems aren’t entirely created by others. The party probably has a bigger proportion of graduates from top universities and law faculties among its lawmakers than LDP, but maybe as a result the top leadership has next to no sense of political communication or marketing. The rank-and-file’s choices of who to lead them are are also weak: the prior leader Kaieda was so weak that he even lost his home district in 2014, and the current leader Okada led the party to an electoral loss in 2005. (Ozawa Ichiro, who engineered the party’s rise to power, is brilliant, but also divisive, and few people want him to merge back into the party.) Okada has refused to submit to another party leadership battle before this summer’s general election(s). Probably that election will go poorly for them, and Okada will be out. If they choose the right person, maybe then they can start to rebuild — though one wonders whether the merger with Ishin no To will survive an electoral drubbing, especially if the next leader of the merged party comes from the old DPJ.

  • Liars N. Fools

    The Abe regime seems intent on reviving the Meiji era imperial rescript on education, which was essentially a document on patriotism. It would appear that his “beautiful country” cannot tolerate a diversity of views, particularly those which veer away from the rightist revisionist views he and his ilk hold.

  • A.J. Sutter

    The larger strategy here is to smear the other opposition parties by association in the lead-up to this summer’s election.

    JCP has said it will cooperate with Minshin To (the so-called “Democratic Party” that will replace DPJ) and others to avoid fielding competing candidates in various districts, and also work together to repeal aspects of the security bills. Consequently a few days ago Abe was talking about the “JCP-DPJ united front.”

    All of this trash talk is to mobilize older voters who remember the Cold War to be sure to vote, and possibly to bias ignorant younger voters — this year will be the first for 18- and 19-year-olds to vote, and JCP might otherwise be attractive to them, esp. for its stand on labor issues and Article 9.

    In reality the united front stuff is nonsense, since DPJ gets a lot of its support from labor unions, and most unions in Japan don’t like JCP. To avoid offending them, the DPJ leader won’t even shake hands with JCP’s leader. But facts don’t count for much in politics — pretty much in any country, and especially in 2016.

  • zer0_0zor0

    Japanese McCarthyism in the 21st century?

  • Bruce Chatwin

    Abe and his fellow travellers appear to be nostalgic for the good old days when the Kempeitai really took care of business.
    In the last round of local elections, the JCP came in second, finishing ahead of Komeito, DPJ, and the other opposition parties. In the last lower house election, in December 2014, the JCP increased their number of seats from 8 to 21 and came in third in terms of the district level (as opposed to block) popular vote. That’s a 160% increase. Clearly this cannot be allowed to continue. Hence the rhetoric from Abe and co.

  • J.P. Bunny

    The JCP is a violent revolutionary and subversive organization? I always thought it was a part of the Japanese Diet, with members elected in the same legal manner as everyone else. At least we now know that Abe has taken Dictatorship 101 in school: Once in power, declare all opposition parties subversive and get rid of them. All for the good of the State.

  • Stephen Kent

    It’s almost as if Mr. Abe has been thinking about rewriting the constitution so much that he’s already decided what he’s going to do when he gets his hands on the new emergency powers incorporated included in the LDP’s draft constitution, and accidentally announced his intention to eliminate all political opposition the way the Nazis did (as advocated by the Finance Minister) before he has the ability to do so.

    And this is from a man whose party was founded with members of the wartime government at its core – people who were actively involved in prosecuting a war of aggression overseas while extinguishing any signs of dissent at home through the secret police and demanding complete subservience to the emperor. It would be great if this spurred the electorate into taking action against the LDP either through organization or at the polls, but I have very little hope that it will. Worrying times indeed.

  • Hideomi Kuze

    Concerned person of Abe cabinet did not deny possibility of Nuclear armament.

  • fromjapan

    Abe government and the ruling party “LDP” are obsessed with nationalistic Delusion.

    • tisho

      and the people who vote for them.

  • Christina Tsuchida

    I am ignorant of the history of the JCP. The Disqus comments to date give no factual help to me. Democratically elected as the JCP diet members are, their non-violence is a completely different issue!
    Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement in NYC were investigated by the FBI, she wrote. They were cleared and the head of the FBI praised them.
    If the JCP is innocent, why not hope for a similar fate?
    If the Abe government is accusing them falsely, mere opinion that that is so is no help to the opposing side(s). It shows dislike of the current regime. If that can be freely expressed, it shows freedom of the press/ of speech. It yields, however, no facts of history or modern history which could clear the JCP.

  • Michael Craig

    Well, the JCP was for violent revolution in its earlier days and during the Cold War, but in 1958, the incoming chair Kenji Miyamoto changed all that! Because their violent behaviour, the JCP lost a lot of seats in the Diet and had SCAP/GHQ purge them. So instead of the violent revoution accomplished by the Bolsheviks in Russia and Mao and his cadres in China, he promoted “smiling Communism (communism through peaceful, democratic means)”. (Wikipedia)

    The JCP practised Miyamoto’s example even since then.